I to know about speciation, since I study it with regard to endangered species in the US. Splitting off species and subspecies has been done in many different ways for as long as we’ve been doing it, and there’s no set way of going about it. It’s about as fuzzy as the difference between language and dialect.
Nowadays, it’s generally done by looking at genetic markers. At X difference (greater than Y difference), we split into Y and Z, two separate species. At Y difference (less than X difference), we split A and B, two separate subspecies.
At some point, geographical territories overlap, and two species are discovered to be breeding. In birds, a lot of times we then decide that they are not separate species after all, but in fact subspecies of one larger species. We lump them. However, there are a few critters around the fuzzy edges of species who breed. Why we don’t lump the breeders into one species in all cases, I’m not so sure. Anyway, separate species in general can’t breed, and even if they do, the offspring are often sterile, like ligers, spawn of lions and tigers.
As two species who were too far apart to breed get closer together genetically, they may be able to start breeding, as successful breeding is a sign of genetic proximity.
So the fact that all humans can breed successfully is powerful evidence that all humans are one species. However, there is some hazy evidence that Whites and Khoisan have such great genetic distance that there are a lot of miscarriages, stillbirths and sterile couplings when they form pairs.
The greatest distance genetically is between African Blacks from Nigeria and Aborigines. It would be interesting to see what would happen if they bred with each other, except Aborigines are almost extinct as a pure race. Aborigines are the furthest from Blacks because they have been separated from Blacks and evolving away from them the longest.
There is good grounds for splitting humans into subspecies. For instance, the distance required to split subspecies in an owl is, say, X. The distance between major human races in a lot of cases will be much greater than X. The only conceivable reason why we don’t split the major races into subspecies is Political Correctness. Also, once we start saying that some races are subspecies, the racists will be handed a power club to beat their hated fellow humans with.
If we were to do so, Blacks would surely be split off, because they are so tremendously distant from all the rest of us. Papuans and Aborigines would get split, and there’s also grounds for splitting NE Asians, SE Asians, Caucasians and possibly Amerindians.
A commenter recently said that it stands to reason that Blacks have the lowest IQ’s of the major races since they are the oldest race. But I don’t think this makes sense. Blacks, being the oldest and most divergent race, have actually been evolving far longer than the rest of us, and have certainly done the most evolving in terms of piling up changes in their genome.
Now, I think that genotypically, African Blacks have low IQ’s. This doesn’t mean that they are unevolved or frozen in time somehow. Hell, they’re more evolved that the rest of us! But it does imply all of the evolving they’ve been doing hasn’t been in the area of intelligence to the same degree as others.
People don’t realize that evolution isn’t necessarily all that progressive. The vast majority of evolutionary changes are just junk and don’t have that much fitness value. You can pile up tons of evolutionary change in your genome without necessarily improving your species much. Hell, cockroaches have been evolving for millions of years and they’re still idiotic bugs.
Likewise, there’s no reason why “old” lines are inferior to newer lines. Clearly, older lines have been evolving for longer than newer lines. That ought to make them superior, but it doesn’t necessarily. As there’s nothing automatically inferior about an ancient line, likewise there is nothing inherently impressive about a newer line. Polynesians only show up ~3,000 YBP, and NE Asians show up ~50,000 YBP. Who’s smarter?
Similarly, Whites have not done nearly as much evolving as Blacks, but it looks like Whites have faced greater selection pressure. It’s not so much the length of time you’ve been twisting your genome around, it’s more the constraints that your line has undergone in terms of fitness. Perhaps Whites evolved higher genotypic IQ’s due to greater selection constraints in the North.
There’s a reason why Blacks are so far away from all the rest of us. They’ve been evolving longer. They’ve been evolving in Africa for 185,000 years, though the Negroid type we are most familiar with has only been around for 12,000 years. Pygmies broke off about 70,000 YBP and Khoisan types before that.
The group that left Africa may have been very small, perhaps as small as 500-1,000 persons. From this small group evolved all of the Out Of Africa humans over 70,000 years. That all of us OOA folks came from this small select group is the reason why we are so close together – we all evolved from this small genetically similar group.
One thing that confuses people is the appearance of Negritos, Papuans and Melanesians. Yeah, they look like Blacks, but they are some of the most distant from Blacks of any humans. Whites are far closer to Blacks than say Papuans are.
Just because two groups look alike doesn’t mean they are all that close genetically. And just because two groups differ in appearance doesn’t mean that they are all far genetically.
Papuans et al came out of Africa like all the rest of us, but they retained a lot of African features while evolving dramatically away from Africans in terms of their genome.
Presumably the African features like kinky hair, dark skin and wide noses were as useful in the jungles in New Guinea as they were in Africa. Kinky hair is useful because it evaporates heat better and allows for greater sweating. Melanin is well known to be advantageous in areas of high UV. A wide nose is the human default. There’s nothing special about it, but a long thin nose is useless in the tropics, as all it’s going to do is make you hot. Hence there’s no need to get rid of the wide nose.
Every human group is about as smart as it needed to be in terms of its evolution. Its unfortunate that Aborigines have genotypic IQ’s of 64, but that’s only as smart as they needed to be down there. If they needed to be smarter, they would have evolved more brains.
Our modern era is anomalous in terms of human evolution. Nowadays a modern society requires what to a primitive person must seem like rocket scientist brains. Modern society has a use for rocket scientist brains, so there will theoretically be some pressure to breed more rocket scientists.
Aborigine society never had any need for rocket scientist brains. Surely there were a few rocket scientist type Aborigines down through the millenia, but those brains had no evolutionary value for the group, so there was no pressure to breed more brainiacs. Nowadays in a society that seems to be demand the Aborigine equivalent of rocket scientists, groups like Aborigines are at a disadvantage, but there was nothing wrong with their evolutionary trajectory. It was as good as it needed to be.
This subject is pretty complex ,and I’ve been thinking about it hard today. I hope this post makes this area clearer.
*The paper has recently been linked and discussed on White racist hate sites. This was very upsetting to the author, a biology professor in the UK, as when he wrote the article, he had no intention whatsoever that it would be used in this way. Hence, he has requested that I remove his name and the title of the article from the piece since he is trying to reduce the visibility of the piece so it won’t attract any more of these types.
- Medical Hypotheses. 74:1, Jan. 2010, pp. 195-201